Sir, John Beaumont's letter re: the position of the SSPX 1 think risks inadequate attention given the flip-side of the matter.
The fact is, that even allowing the Society is in "de jure" schism (Count Neri Capponi, accredited to argue cases before Rome's highest juridical body, the Apostolic Signatura, with others, begged to differ), and not merely in an "irregular position" with the Holy See , it is incontrovertible that some national Episcopates are in "de facto" schism.
Witness the reluctance, or outright refusal, of almost entire hierarchies to faithfully implement Rome's directives regarding, for instance, catechetical instruction and sex-ed in schools; abuses and illicities in the liturgy; inadequate seminary formation; the toleration, amounting effectively to promotion, of widespread dissent not simply differences of opinion.
Strange things have happened in the contemporary, institutional Church. Catholics are not required to give carte blanche assent to anything that seems to contradict, depart from, or weaken the perennial Magisterium (teaching Church) with a much longer history than 40-odd years.
However one views it, the Second Vatican Council triggered if not actually initiated the Church's presently disturbed and disordered state; which in the '70s Paul V1 was himself lamenting as a "process of decomposition" and of "auto-destruction".
Is this what the SSPX (to which I do not adhere but with which I sympathise) attempts to counteract, in their refusal to entertain the preposterous notion that the Holy Ghost is renewing what manifestly is visibly ceasing to exist at least in the West?
Whether they labour under the odium of "de jure" schism, or not, seems to be somewhat academic, when there are presently far wider concerns clamouring for attention and remedy.
Yours faithfully, VINCENT WHITEHOUSE, London